SYRIAN DISSIDENT AND SLAIN ALGERIAN REPORTER WIN BENCHICOU PRIZE
Michel Kilo, a member of the Union of Syrian Journalists and founder of "Hurriyat", a centre dedicated to defending free expression, was sentenced to three years in jail in May for signing the Beirut-Damascus Declaration in 2006, which called for better relations with Lebanon.
Abdelhai Beliardouh, former correspondent of the Algerian newspaper "El-Watan", was killed in 2002 following numerous death threats for his revelatory writing on local mafia groups in the Tébessa region.
The prize is named after Mohamed Benchicou, director of Algerian newspaper "Le Matin", who spent two years in jail for stories which criticised the president.
During the awards ceremony on 14 June, the first anniversary of Benchicou's release, a petition calling for the release of imprisoned journalists in Syria, Egypt and Tunisia was launched.
See Benchicou's blog at: http://benchicou.unblog.fr/2007/06/19/prix-de-la-plume-libre-2007-3-articles/
(26 June 2007)